Honolulu (AP) — Lindsay Mieni and her South African husband emigrated to and grew up in Hawaii. I thought it was safer to raise two black children here than to raise them in other states in the United States.
Three months after they arrived, Honolulu police shot dead a black 29-year-old husband, Lindani Mieni.
White Lindsay Mieni told The Associated Press in an interview from her husband’s hometown of Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal.
Lindani Mieni’s death and the quiet reaction of the inhabitants remind us that Hawaii is not a racially harmonious paradise.
The two moved to Honolulu in January from the white-dominated Denver.
Hawaii, which recognizes that many people have multiple ethnic groups, rather than the majority of whites, felt right. “We have been refreshed by returning to a great variety of places.”
Blacks account for only 3.6% of Hawaii’s 1.5 million inhabitants, according to US Census Bureau data. However, according to data from the Honolulu Police Department in 2019, more than 7% of the people who used force by the police were black in Honolulu alone.
Local rallies and small-scale condemnation of Mieni’s death in Minnesota, arousing enthusiastic anger seen elsewhere after the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white officer last year in Minnesota. There were some protests. According to the police.
Mieni’s death “would have caused massive protests in other American cities,” said Kenneth Lawson, a black professor at the University of Hawaii Law School.
“People feel uncomfortable when they say they live in paradise and point out that it’s not a paradise for people of color,” he said.
He said one of the reasons the anger didn’t subside was that police had limited disclosure of the details of the case. “What is revealed is what they want to show us,” he said.
According to police explanations about the dead shooting, Mieni entered a house other than her own, sat down, took off her shoes, and urged the frightened residents to call 119. Police said, leaving one in a concussion.
Police have released two short clips from body camera footage, but it’s hard to pinpoint what’s happening in the dark. Three gunshots ring and the police shout “police.”
In an illegal death proceeding against Honolulu by Lindsay Mieni, police claimed that “Mr. Mieni was motivated by racial discrimination against Africans.”
She said that being black alone regarded him as an “imminent threat” and that the Asian woman who called 119 needed to be protected.
White Susan Ballard, police chief, said police at the time responded to Mieni’s actions rather than race. “This person seriously injured police officers and endangered their lives,” she said.
Mieni’s widow believes he mistaken his house for the neighboring Halle Krishna Temple. Earlier that day, the family visited a culturally important place on their way to the North Shore of Oahu. At some point, she remembered that the couple prayed together. She felt something was wrong. He seemed nervous.
Therefore, I suspect that a Christian husband who is familiar with Zulu culture was looking for a spiritual place in his new neighborhood.
Shortly before the shoot, she talked to him on the phone. He was about five blocks away on his way home.
The widow said he was wearing Umquere when he was shot. She says that the traditional Zulu Katyusha meant that he went home with respect, along with taking off his shoes at the front door.
She believes that their race contributed to the shocked emotional decline of his death. “Whites are not stereotypically from Hawaii. Blacks are not stereotypically from Hawaii. So, even though I’ve been there for three generations, when I look at my skin,” Oh, haole. You must say, “she means foreigner in Hawaiian.
However, Mieni is certainly a newcomer to Hawaii, which may have contributed to the general reaction to his death, said Daphne, a former chairman of the African-American Bar Association in Hawaii. Barbie Uten said.
“If the people were shot or killed for a long time, they might be more resentful because they were neighbors and would have gone to the same church,” she said.
“And I think many African Americans living here are angry,” she said. “But do they follow it? Not much.”
There are various reasons for this, including those in military jobs who may not be allowed to publicly protest, and those who are waiting for the results of the shooting, she said.
Ethan Coldwell, an assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawaii, of black and Asian descent, said he could personally sympathize with the Mienis, who find Hawaii relatively safer.
“I always ask my students, who is it safe for?” He said. “Blacks existed in the Kingdom of Hawaii before the annexation, but now they are rarely seen, heard, or separated from the Hawaiian military.”
Hawaii is one of the few places where people of color make up the majority, but anti-black sentiment still exists at the organizational and individual levels, and Waikiki businesses open the window before peaceful black lives become important. I pointed out that it was closed. Last summer’s march.
“We don’t necessarily feel the same level of racism, anti-black, discrimination and prejudice here as on the continent, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t faced with microaggression on a daily basis. “People,” said Caldwell. “Some people may want to deal with these because their lives are not always at risk.”
“But given the closeness to recent incidents, I think the fact that it’s happening here also casts doubt on some of it,” Honolulu Police Department shot for 16 years. He said he had killed him. –April 5th old man in Micronesia.
Another possible reason that death did not trigger a major protest is that Hawaii is about to be seen as different from the conflict in the mainland US, Akie, founder and executive director of the Popolo project. Mi Glen said. A plant with dark purple or black fruits, sometimes referring to blacks.
By acknowledging that Hawaii, like any other region, is experiencing racial prejudice in law enforcement, “from all the difficulties on the mainland, whether this is a racial paradise or a vacation paradise, The myth that this is a paradise explodes, “she said.
Lindsay Mieni said her husband hadn’t encountered a racist incident in Hawaii before she died. She came back from the gym a month later, and one day he returned to her. I remember hugging him and thanking him for taking me to Hawaii.
“And people are warm, friendly and extroverted,” she said. “And everything he liked about South Africa is a lot in Hawaii.”
In Denver, police stopped him while walking because he agreed with the criminal suspect’s explanation. In South Africa, she received “ugly gaze” from a black man and some whites who saw her.
“But we live among black people in South Africa and they always welcome me,” she said.
Lindsay Myeni is trying to extend her visa to stay in South Africa and is applying for permanent residence through her son.
“Hawaii is my hometown, so I feel like I’ve separated from my country or state. I might come back there someday,” she said. You can even visit. “
Magome reported from Johannesburg.